June 1, 2012 – In the increasingly complex field of forest and natural resource management, we rely on a wide array of quantitative tools and techniques, including geographic information systems, mathematical and statistical modeling, remote sensing, database management, knowledge integration, and decision science. The emerging field of environmental informatics works at the nexus of these analytical disciplines and the multifaceted challenges of environmental and natural resource management.
We have a long-held preeminent position in these fields, with faculty leaders in the fields of biometrics, remote sensing, GIS, forest economics, and harvesting logistics, among others. As the demand for graduates with strong quantitative backgrounds in these fields continues to grow, FREC is developing a first-of-its-kind undergraduate program in environmental informatics.
The environmental informatics major will attract students with quantitative interests and aptitudes, and will combine a foundation in natural resources and environmental management with analytical courses from FREC, Business Information Technology, Statistics, and other departments. Proposed new courses to support the major will include freshman-level “Digital Planet” and “Introduction to Environmental Informatics” and a senior-level capstone course. The courses and the major are making their way through university governance procedures. When successful, the first students in this program may be enrolled by 2013.